Shepherd’s Meal Tradition

Hey Mamas! Here’s a fun, interactive way to give your children a taste of the excitement of Jesus’ birth and His loving sacrifice for us: Begin a Shepherd’s Meal tradition. Putting yourself in the place of the shepherds on the night Jesus was born adds another beautiful perspective to the Christmas story.

Materials:
• Bible  • A blanket  • Candles or flashlights  • A dark evening

Directions:

  1. Prepare a simple meal; just use what you have on hand! Think of foods shepherds may have eaten in the time of Jesus—possibly just a simple stew (even a can from the grocery store) and bread. Use your imagination! The meal doesn’t have to be perfect or accurate; your kids will remember how they felt more than the food they ate.
  2. When the sun goes down, spread a blanket on your floor, light some candles, and serve your meal picnic-style.
  3. As your kids are eating, grab a flashlight and your Bible and read the account of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2, from the shepherds perspective. If you have young children, read the account from a children’s Bible or storybook that’s easy to understand.
  4. Have your children imagine that they are shepherds out in the field enjoying dinner, when suddenly the sky fills with angels singing praise to Jesus.

Discussion:

  • Ask how they would feel, and remind them how absolutely awe-inspiring an experience like this would be.
  • Talk about how magnificent Jesus is and that He deserves our praise every day.
  • Ask your children how they can bring glory to Jesus this Christmas season and throughout the year to come!

Bonus:
If your kids want to dress up like shepherds for your meal, you can make easy no-sew shepherd costumes in just minutes! Grab an old sheet or buy one from your local thrift store. Cut out a rectangle approximately 4×5 feet for a medium-sized child (You can always cut it down later if it ends up being too long). Fold this rectangle in half lengthwise and cut a half-circle the size of half a salad plate in the center of the fabric along the fold to make a neck hole. Place the fabric over the child’s head. Cut a long thin strip of fabric for a belt, another 2×3 foot strip for a head covering, and a shorter thin strip to tie around your child’s head to secure the head covering. This doesn’t have to be perfect in any way. Older kids can even make their own costumes if they so desire. Remember, it is just for fun!

 

Tara Davis

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